December is with us again, and the whole city is swathed in colored lights! Every store is playing carols, every window has a tree and every smile is wrapped up in the feeling of the holidays. During this joyous season, it can be difficult to find events and excursions to fully experience the magic, so pull up a blanket, grab your eggnog, and get ready for these five events happening right now that you can’t miss!
1. Zoo Lights at the Gulf Breeze Zoo
Nothing compares to the feeling of roaming around to see all of the beautiful light displays arranged by your neighbors, and where better to begin than the Gulf Breeze Zoo? Every weekend in December, the doors are opened passed closing to allow guests to enjoy the vibrant colors of every display constructed on site and even visit a special holiday petting zoo. This all comes at the cost of $12.95 a ticket or comes free with the purchase of a regular day ticket. The halls are decked, the animals are merry, and the hot cocoa is included!
2. Miracle Bar on Palafox
What gives Christmas spirit more life than spirits? A tradition started in 2014 by company founder Greg Boehm, the Miracle Pop-up Bar has made its way to downtown Pensacola’s Palafox Street this December with the intent to spread holiday cheer in the form of stiff drinks. The bar serves fun and festive holiday themed beverages in the same vein as your favorite spiked eggnog and is the perfect place to warm up to the harsh (but brief) Florida winter. The catch is that you have to act fast as the bar disappears faster than the Spirit of Christmas Present! It’s open from 2:00pm until midnight every day until January when it magically reverts back into the Old Hickory Whiskey Bar.
3. UWF’s ‘A Christmas Carol’
A time honored classic and a campus tradition almost as old as the department hosting it, the Center for Fine and Performing Arts is alive with the spirit(s) of Christmas once more! Come and see your fellow students as they spin you the tale we all know and love along with all of our favorite carols. In addition, this is also a historic year in terms of the tradition. This marks the first time that we have had a student directing the play, the second time that a student has played Ebeneezer Scrooge, the first time that there will be a pre-show opening night celebration, and what may be the last time this masterpiece graces our stage. The show opens this weekend and will run until Sunday the 16th. Admission is free for UWF students and start at $12 for visitors, but you have to hurry as the seats sell out fast!
4. Winter Brewfest at O’Riley’s Pub
Another one for fans of spiked eggnog, or for when family comes over and you need to escape, O’Riley’s Pub is hosting a party allowing you to try dozens of different beers that have become available only recently. Admission to the event is $20 to reserve a spot and $25 at the door and includes access to all the beers available and one appetizer of your choosing. The perfect way to spend an evening away or right before riding into a winter wonderland!
5. Pensacola Winterfest 2018
One of the city’s most prolific annual events, this tradition consists of several weekends of shows and parades, all leading up to the big day itself. Included in this string of cheerful fun is several free events, such as Reindeer Games and visiting Santa, and several performances of holiday favorites like The Grinch, A Christmas Carol, and The Polar Express, with tickets starting at $12. Perfect for if your family is visiting or if you just want some milder joy this season.
By Aubrey Shelton